) named Satya Nadella, former head of the cloud and enterprise
division, as its new CEO. Furthermore, the company founder Bill
Gates has stepped down from his role as chairman for a new role as
technology adviser to CEO. Board member John Thompson, former CEO
of Symantec, will serve as Microsoft's new chairman.
The software giant announced on Tuesday that Nadella will
replace Steve Ballmer, who in August said that he would step down
as CEO of Microsoft within 12 months. While it is too early to
speculate on the strategy the company might adopt going forward,
this appointment signals Microsoft's strong commitment to business
growth through its cloud offering, which registered over 100%
growth last fiscal.
See our complete analysis of Microsoft here
Is He The Right Man For The Job?
The five-month long search for a new CEO ended with the
appointment of Satya Nadella - an electrical engineer and a 22-year
Microsoft veteran. A careful analysis of the profiles of other
contenders such as Alan Mulally indicates that the management
selected the best candidate for the job, considering the company
wants to strengthen its footprint in cloud services and the mobile
Nadella has extensive experience working with cloud technologies
compared to some of the other candidates who were from different
industries. Satya Nadella is not only a company insider but also
helped grow Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group (CEG) - which
accounted for $20.3 billion in revenue and $8.2 billion in
operating income last fiscal year (ended June 2013). As the chief
of CEG, Nadella oversaw Microsoft's server software for corporate
customers. He was also in charge of several consumer cloud products
such as Office 365, as well as the Bing search engine, Xbox Live
and Skype. Over the course of his tenure, he was instrumental in
transforming the company's technology culture from client services
to cloud infrastructure and services.
While Nadella faces stiff challenges heading the 100,000+
employees, we believe he can successfully integrate different
company divisions backed by his extensive experience at Microsoft.
We expect Nadella to gradually disclose his growth strategy for
Microsoft in the upcoming events. However, it remains to be seen
whether Nadella's engineering background, along with Bill Gates'
close involvement in product decisions, will help the company turn
over a new leaf in the growing cloud domain. We note that Gates
appeared to be delighted that Nadella requested his higher level of
involvement. Reports indicate, moreover, that Nadella is to view
the full board as his boss. Considering that Ballmer and
Gates are on the board, along with Chairman John Thompson, this is
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